SAN ANTONIO - If your child has missed 18 school days or more, either excused or unexcused they are categorized as "chronically absent."
According to a study conducted by P16 Plus that looked at 58 San Antonio schools, 15 percent of students were chronically absent this past school year.
The study looked at all the schools in Southwest ISD, Harlandale ISD, ten schools from Northeast ISD, and ten schools from San Antonio ISD.
Experts said there were a variety of reasons for high absence rates including waking up late, not having a ride to school, taking care of a sibling or parent with a health issue, and substance abuse in the family.
"We found a variety of reasons, one of the biggest ones being health-related reasons so anything from flu, colds, allergies, dental issues, general health issues," said Coda Rayo-Garza from P16 Plus.
Missing school can have major consequences. Rayo-Garza said students who are chronically absent are more likely to drop out of high school or test below their grade level in certain subjects.
Many school districts have started home visits with families of chronically absent students to try to come up with solutions to get them to class.
"When you go in someone's home you kind of see the environment there, you see the struggles that they have to work with," said Brian Jaklich, social work facilitator with Harlandale ISD. "We see so many of these success stories and the resilience and these families that struggle and go through some really, really difficult situations and they don't give up and these kids don't give up."
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